In Today's Scripture Reading:
Hezekiah destroys idols; firstfruits and tithes; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah's death; Manasseh's reign; Amon's reign
After the death of wicked King Ahaz, his godly son Hezekiah became king and assumed leadership of a nation where idol worship was both popular and prevalent. Furthermore, his father had placed the kingdom of Judah in subjection to Assyria, which was fast becoming the world's most powerful kingdom. Its seemingly invincible armies had seized control of both Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel. In addition, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had jurisdiction over 46 walled cities inside the kingdom of Judah.
Hezekiah could have mourned over the mess he inherited, either hating his father or blaming God for the wretched moral and economic conditions that prevailed throughout the nation.
Instead, he appointed the courses of the priests. . . . He appointed also the king's portion (share) of his substance for the burnt offerings. . . . he commanded the people . . . to give the portion of the priests and the Levites. . . . And. . . . the Lord hath blessed His people (II Chronicles 31:2-10).
Hezekiah observed the Passover (30:1-27). He reopened the Temple which his wicked, idol-worshiping father had desecrated and restored worship of the true God.
As with Hezekiah, who inherited serious problems because his father was evil, we too may be the victim of other people's sins. But Christians need not fear the future or "unfortunate circumstances" of the past. We should not be concerned about our parents' mistakes, which we may have inherited, or other situations over which we have no control. Dwelling on one's past mistakes, or those of others, never provides helpful solutions, and can create depression, suspicion, self-hatred, and hatred of others. How encouraging it is to know that, when Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed with no hint of ill will, the Lord protected them.
With the Apostle Paul, let us say: This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark (goal) for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
By Hezekiah's offering of the king's portion (share) of his substance for the burnt offerings (II Chronicles 31:3). The burnt offerings were wholly consumed, symbolic of total surrender, and offered as a sweet savour to the Lord (Leviticus 8:28; Numbers 15:3). God offered His King's portion in Christ Jesus who, in total surrender on the cross, was wholly consumed, even unto death. Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (Ephesians 5:2).
31:10 store =b> abundance; 31:14 oblations =b> offerings; gifts; 31:16 courses =b> assigned tasks; divisions; 31:18 set office =b> devotion; 31:19 several =ingle; 32:6 comfortably =b> encouragingly; 32:8 rested themselves =b> relied; 32:17 rail on =b> belittle; denounce; 32:18 affright =b> frighten; 33:11 fetters =b> chains.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. V.R. Stuebing, Jr. Staff: Ilene Wallace Government Official: Rep. Steve Israel (NY) Country: Switzerland (7 million) in central Europe Major languages: German and French Religious freedom 53% Roman Catholic; 41% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your brothers and sisters that they might be filled with spiritual discernment and the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 3:14-18).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 18:30